How Mississippi State athletics succeeded financially in 2022 despite record expenses

STARKVILLE — New Mississippi State athletic director Zac Selmon is taking over a department that found financial success in the previous fiscal year (July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022).

Mississippi State's total operating revenue for the 2022 fiscal year was $110,653,367, according to a copy of the department's NCAA financial report the Clarion Ledger/USA TODAY Network acquired via public records request. Despite a department-record $105,841,622 in expenses, MSU brought in about $4.8 million more than it spent.

The previous high in expenses came in the 2020 fiscal year in which MSU spent $103,729,769. A noticeable difference in the expenses from 2020 to the 2022 fiscal year is coaching salaries. MSU spent nearly $22.5 million in the past cycle compared to about $19.4 million in 2020.

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Another major increase in spending came from fundraising, marketing and promotion. Mississippi State reported $5,466,578 in that category's expenses − an increase of nearly $3 million from last year. It's the highest figure MSU has ever spent in that area, beating the 2013 mark by about $700,000.

Mississippi State's revenue dropped more than $2 million from the previous fiscal year, which isn't a concerning figure. The SEC provided more than $20 million in supplemental revenue in 2021 to help offset losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. After $25.5 million in conference distribution in 2021, MSU reported less than $4.5 million in 2022.

The Bulldogs also saw a decrease of nearly $3 million in insurance and medical expenses as COVID testing has slowed.

A look from The Balconies at Davis Wade Stadium overlooking the rest of the stadium on August 29, 2022. The balconies are a new option for fans seeking a tailgating-like atmosphere inside Davis Wade Stadium.
A look from The Balconies at Davis Wade Stadium overlooking the rest of the stadium on August 29, 2022. The balconies are a new option for fans seeking a tailgating-like atmosphere inside Davis Wade Stadium.

Media deals proved worthwhile for the profitable programs in the department. Football earned $15.3 million in media rights en route to a total profit of $10.8 million.

Despite profiting just $155,864, the men's basketball program gained more than $4 million from media rights. It's the lone program of the big four at MSU to have brought in money from NCAA distributions ($2.6 million). The softball team, which made its first super regional appearance, earned $36,000 in NCAA distributions.

The absence of media rights for baseball and women's basketball continues to be hurtful. Both programs recorded expenses around $5 million, with the baseball team recording $3.3 million in revenue while the women's basketball team brought in $587,753.

Stefan Krajisnik is the Mississippi State beat writer for the Clarion Ledger. Contact him at skrajisnik@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter @skrajisnik3.

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Mississippi State profits despite department-high fiscal year expenses